The Legend of the Greasepole


Want to know how to play the game?  And maybe learn a bit more about Queen's traditions?  Then this is the documentation for you.  Click here for the online version.


Looking for more information about how we made Legend of the Greasepole?  This document goes into a lot more detail, and is available online in two forms: as a web page, or as an Adobe .pdf file.


Or, if you're just looking for a little information about this project...

The Legend of the Greasepole is a multimedia tribute to the ultimate Orientation Week event for undergraduate students in the faculty of Applied Science at Queen’s University. It is distributed on a CD that contains these two components:

  • The Pole Game, an interactive experience set at the Greasepole event; and,
  • The LegendWeb, a multimedia history of the Greasepole with an anthology of Queen’s engineering traditions.

The Pole Game showcases IntelliFrosh, an engine designed to facilitate goal-driven, behavior-based groupwork among synthetic characters. The eighty-five frosh characters in the game learn to work as a team to form a human pyramid, climb the greasepole and remove a Scottish tam from its top. The player can employ more than a dozen humorous methods to stall the frosh and keep them from this goal for as long as possible.

The IntelliFrosh engine incorporates the five features that Dr Bruce Blumberg of the MIT Media Lab identifies as fundamental to a system for generating synthetic characters: relevance, persistence & coherence, adaptation, intentionality, and integration of external control. IntelliFrosh also provides the 85 autonomous characters interacting in The Pole Game’s world with the capacity to learn and teach new methods for achieving complicated goals.

The Legend of the Greasepole’s development spanned a period of two years and involved the work of over 50 members of the Queen’s student community. Robert Burke, Queen’s University Math and Engineering Class of ’99, acted as Project Manager, Lead Programmer, and Editor-in-Chief of the LegendWeb. He designed and implemented the IntelliFrosh system in C++. Craig Calvert, formerly a Queen’s University Mechanical Engineering student, acted as Artistic Director during the second year of the project. He designed and rendered the majority of the artwork that appears in The Pole Game.

Legend of the Greasepole Website maintained by Rob Burke. Last updated October 2004.